Based in London, Alasdair Mann, better known as Alementary, covers emerging tech stories for his over 500k YouTube subscribers. The popular influencer, who attracts millions of monthly views, is a leading source of emerging tech news for Gen Z and Millenials. A collab he did earlier this year with Nreal is at an impressive 31.1 million views and counting.
While his popularity with tech fans is well-established, there is also no shortage of brands hoping to work with him. With that in mind, Eleven International caught up with the popular influencer to get his thoughts on how brands can work with him on successful collaborations.
Over the course of the conversation, he talks about how brands can get his attention, common mistakes they make when pitching collabs, what he expects from their products, and more.
What are absolute must-haves for any collaboration pitch? Or to put it another way, what’s the best way to catch your eye?
The best way to catch my eye is to show as many of the following as possible:
- Links to collabs with other creators
- Links to specific videos of mine you watched
- Video ideas for the collab
But the absolute minimum is an easy way to verify you are a real person and company, not spam.
What are some common mistakes you see in pitches, especially those that you find counterproductive or off-putting?
The most common mistake is to use language similar to the “spam” pitches. I’ve deleted emails that look generic, thinking they were spam, only to get a follow-up a week later.
I would recommend keeping up to date with what the latest “spam” pitches look like.
Where are you most receptive to being first approached by a brand? By email, Twitter, YouTube comments?
I probably won’t see you in the comments. But if you email me with a screenshot of the video/comment, that will probably catch my attention.
“Asking to make changes to the script, after the script is approved and the video is produced. The easiest way to make a creator hate working with a brand.”
If you want to really stand out though I don’t get many pitches via Linkedin.
Is there such a thing as a pointless pitch? And conversely, what constitutes a perfect pitch?
The only pointless pitches are if the first offer/budget is 10x lower than what I expected. Though if the product and my niche is unrelated, I would probably need a lot of convincing.
A perfect pitch offers to give, or straight up gives all the required information in one go. Rates, timeline, ideas, payment schedule, usage rights, etc.
What product types or angles are strictly a ‘no go’ for you? Is there such a thing as a topic ‘too sensitive’ to cover?
Anything that requires too much due diligence. E.g. most crypto startups, gambling, under-researched supplements.
What’s the most unique product or angle that’s ever been pitched to you?
I didn’t take this deal, but I was once pitched to work with performance-enhancing supplements for the bedroom.
What’s one thing you wish no brand would ever do again when working with you on content?
Asking to make changes to the script, after the script is approved and the video is produced. The easiest way to make a creator hate working with a brand.
And conversely, what would be the one thing you wish every brand keeps in mind when working with you?
YouTube Shorts can be hit or miss, but performance improves with each video. Just like when you make content for your own channel, when I make content for you, I need to learn what works and what doesn’t.
The latest collab with Nreal is almost at 30 million views, but that’s because it is the 3rd iteration of that collab.
What do you think is the most exciting area of the tech world at the moment?
I’m most excited about generative AI, for video. Runway, one of the creators behind Stable Diffusion, just opened their GEN-1 model to the public. It is a video-to-video model. Meaning you could e.g.:
- Find stock footage of a city at night
- Give GEN-1 the prompt “cyberpunk”
- Use stock footage of a futuristic city in your videos
If there was one smartphone app you think everyone should use, which would that be?
I can’t live without Todoist. It’s a To-do list app that syncs with your other devices, but you place it as a widget on your home screen.
So, if I get an idea or remember something it takes <10 seconds to note it down. Then later I’m reminded when I get on my computer.